How Technology Is Reshaping the Seniors Housing Landscape

Seniors housing industry experts discuss the role of technology during InterFace Seniors Housing West in Los Angeles. From left to right, Karissa Price-Rico of Care Innovations, Kevin Merrill of Inviacom, Dana Wollschlager of Plante Moran Living Forward, Dan Dixon of Guardian Angels Senior Services and Bryan Fuhr of Healthsense. Seniors housing industry experts discuss the role of technology during InterFace Seniors Housing West in Los Angeles. From left to right, Karissa Price-Rico of Care Innovations, Kevin Merrill of Inviacom, Dana Wollschlager of Plante Moran Living Forward, Dan Dixon of Guardian Angels Senior Services and Bryan Fuhr of Healthsense.

By Nellie Day

Technological advancements in healthcare and daily living are having a profound impact on the seniors housing industry but not without some growing pains, panelists asserted at InterFace’s Seniors Housing West conference, held Feb. 26 at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles.

On the healthcare side, providers and family members want to do what they can to keep their loved ones active and well. On the entertainment side, many seniors want the comforts of home — and Wi-FI is one of them.

“I love the idea of technology in healthcare for our clients,” said Dana Wollschlager, vice president of senior living consulting firm Plante Moran Living Forward headquartered in Southfield, Mich., and a speaker on the “Technology and Operations” panel.

“I love it most importantly because we’re able to drive better outcomes for the residents we’re serving, but it does bring additional revenue and cut costs. It results in 25 percent fewer turnover in our communities. That equates to revenue not lost. These are huge numbers as we work to drive net operating income and make these numbers work even better. This is the low-hanging fruit.”

The technology affecting seniors includes everything from surveillance cameras and sensors mounted in individual residences to tablets that record and monitor activity and vital signs. These innovative services and products have an extremely wide reach since both senior care communities and families alike can utilize them.

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